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NCJ Number: 192325 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Tests of Level B Suits -- Protection Against Chemical and Biological Warfare Agents and Simulants: Executive Summary
Author(s): Robert S. Lindsay
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: National Technical Information Service
Springfield, VA 22151
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
US Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command (SBCCOM)
Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21010
Sale Source: National Technical Information Service
US Dept of Commerce
5285 Port Royal Road
Springfield, VA 22151
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Report (Summary)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This executive summary reviewed the results of a test on six Occupational Safety and Health Administration Level B suit designs to determine their ability to protect people in a chemical agent or biological agent environment.
Abstract: One of the objectives of the Domestic Preparedness Program, which was created by the Department of Defense, is to enhance Federal, State and local capabilities to respond to nuclear, biological, or chemical (NBC) terrorism incidents. Some of the time, first responders to a terrorist incident will use Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Level B protective suits to enter a contaminated or potentially contaminated area. There was limited data on the effectiveness of commercially available OSHA Level B suits as protection against chemical warfare (CW) agents. As a result, the U.S. Army Chemical and Biological Defense Command (CBDCOM) created a program to test some of the Level B suit designs, using CW agents and tests procedures developed for assessment of military-issue CW protective equipment. This summary report presented the essential results of the tests conducted on these suits and was intended primarily for emergency response organizations and managers. The suit and suit materials were tested in new, as received condition. Each type of suit was examined in two ways: the Swatch Tests and the Aerosol Tests. In the Swatch Tests, sample swatches were cut from selected areas of each suit. These swatches were then exposed to the chemical agents Mustard (HD) and Sarin (GB). In the Aerosol Tests, each suit was worn by a volunteer tester who carried out a prescribed sequence of movement inside a test chamber, which contained a controlled aerosol of corn oil, a non-toxic simulant for chemical and biological agent aerosols. The test data showed that the OSHA Level B suits can protect wearers from liquid chemical warfare agents. However, these suits only provided limited skin protection from vapor or aerosol threat. Thus, the OSHA Level B suit material does provide limited skin protection but the suit itself provides little or no skin protection. As a consequence, these OSHA Level B suits are not recommended for use where either vapor or aerosolized chemical warfare agents may be in the environment. 3 Tables
Main Term(s): Biological weapons; Counter-terrorism tactics; Terrorism/Mass Violence; Testing and measurement
Index Term(s): Domestic Preparedness; Evaluation measures; Explosives vapor detectors; Medical Readiness; Terrorist weapons
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